Take Flight Bucolic Chandelier (2010)

An interactive audio installation at Figment 2010 of communication between humans mediated by a listening tree.

Full Description

A box containing a computer, amplifier, and cellular modem are nested high up in the tree. A dozen reclaimed speakers, from broken monitors, are attached to a chandelier frame, which is also adorned with handmade ornaments of bead, wire, and other recycled sparkly things. A sign hangs with a phone number that visitors can call and leave a message.

Miles away, another computer is running a script that automatically converts the messages into mp3 files, downloads them, adds them to a playlist, and broadcasts the 100 most recent messages in real time, over an audio stream.

Back at the tree (the stunning and deep spirit we met on our first visit, who was curious and excited about being the focus of our art project and connecting directly with other humans) the mobile wifi is connected to the audio stream, and is emanating from the chandelier. Over the course of three days, the sounds and voices evolve and change, updating every time someone calls the tree, and leaves a message.

The documentation is a selection from the 200+ messages left for the tree that weekend.

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Artist Statement

The forest is eternal, the trees are always listening.

There is an interconnected energy between all life forces, we are all intertwined in an ever perpetual roller-coaster of balancing. We know we are connected to plant life in our most involuntary and essential of life functions, but are we connected spiritually as well? If we could hear the stories of the trees, what would they tell us? Do we share burdens? What are the extents in which plants find ways to transform our physical wastes into life giving elements?

Can we transform dark matter into things of inspiration and beauty?

This is a purging of dark matter; of thoughts and worries, fears, pain, strife, trauma; of all the things that make us human. I look to the tree, who so magically finds a way of transforming waste into life, to help find a way of transforming these by·products into something beautiful, and keeping them from making holes in the universe.

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